Does this question enter your thoughts often? If so, what comes to mind for you – happiness, a good paying job, the American dream, a healthy family? If not, how would you define success for your life?
Recently, I visited the University of Nebraska – Omaha and presented Healthy Relationships 101. I shared with students that one of the most important relationships they will have in life is the one with themselves. I also shared that healthy relationships begin with self care. Self care leads to self connection and when one connects with his or her true self, s/he is better able to connect with others authentically – resulting in healthier relationships.
During our time together, I asked several thought provoking questions. My reason for doing this was to assist students in their process of defining success from the perspective of “who they are” rather than what they can “get” in the world. Often times, we have a very clear picture of the “external” things that help us look successful but less often do we have certainty about how success feels from a deeper level within each of us. So, one of the questions I asked was “what do you want for your life?” Most of the answers went something like this, “I want success and happiness!” I then asked “what does success look like for you?” And one student exclaimed “the American dream!”
So, my next questions are for you. And the questions are “if you have a life that looks nothing like the typical American dream (i.e. a spouse or partner, good paying job, house with a two or three car garage, 2-3 children, pets, etc.), would you feel successful? Why or why not? Is it possible to be successful and not have the American dream?” I’d love to hear your responses to this post and I look forward to reading about your definitions of success.
Until the next time… Take Care of Yourself,